Oregon v. MakinAnnotate this Case
The trial court found defendant Robert Makin guilty of first-degree child neglect, as well as other offenses. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed defendant’s first-degree child neglect convictions without discussion. The question in this case was whether a reasonable trier of fact could find defendant guilty of first-degree child neglect for knowingly allowing his children to stay “[i]n a vehicle where controlled substances are being criminally delivered * * *.” Defendant's three children were in his car when a police officer stopped him for a traffic violation. Also in the car were methamphetamine and implements for selling it. There was no evidence, however, that defendant had sold or was delivering methamphetamine to an identified buyer while his children were with him in the car. Rather, all that the evidence showed was that, while his children were in the car, defendant possessed methamphetamine with the intent to sell in the future. After review, the Supreme Court held that first-degree child neglect, as defined in ORS 163.547, did not include knowingly leaving or allowing a child under 16 years of age to stay in a vehicle where controlled substances are possessed with an intent to deliver. Because the state did not argue that the evidence in this case gave rise to any inference other than possession with intent to deliver, the Court of Appeals' decision to the extent it upheld defendant’s convictions for first-degree child neglect was reversed. On review, defendant did not challenge his convictions for delivery and possession, and the state did not challenge the Court of Appeals decision reversing defendant’s conviction for manufacturing and remanding that charge for further proceedings. Those parts of the Court of Appeals decision were affirmed.